if it looks like a and walks like a

I post this here for I know quite a few who follow the site are writters. Even though writters are pretty much like the rest of humanity, I still feel safer revealing here.

Deep in creatative mood, seated at my laptop, locked on a thought with fingers trying their darness to keep up, I hear a call from the real world.  My creative self  attempts to throw all sorts of sound blocking screens.  “We must stay on task”, says I to I.

The sound, the call, the real world interruption persist. I don’t see any smoke.  Don’t see any blood. Continue reading “if it looks like a and walks like a” »

Facebook backlash isn’t just about Facebook (but I bet it wishes it was)

This month I’ve read a few articles bashing the facebook IPO.  The most resounding one was: Facebook Ads Aren’t Grabbing Users.

Have you ever clicked on a facebook ad?  Out of interest in a product?

Social media people will (hopefully) tell you that social media is a tough nut to crack.  The best tools are passion and authenticity, which breed consistency.

Facebook ads don’t get clicked on because very few ads of any kind in any medium get “clicked on” anymore.  People are either interested in a product or they aren’t.  TV, Radio, Print, Web.  There’s noise everywhere, and you’re either passionate, authentic, and consistent (and funny helps a lot), or you’re noise.

Part of the facebook backlash was GM pulling their facebook advertising budget the week before the IPO.  This is a big lumbering slow-moving corporation that actually analyzed its facebook ad performance and decided it wasn’t going to make any babies there and pulled right the heck out.

Money doesn’t buy happiness?  Maybe.  But you definitely can’t monetize friendship.  When you do, the friendship goes away.

What does all of this mean for everyone who wishes to advertise on facebook?  Or any other social media FTM (for that matter)?

Bring PASSION, be AUTHENTIC, be CONSISTENT.  And if you’d like to interest me at all, be funny and be quick about it.  And don’t use big words like Deliverables and Strategic Objectives.  Talk normal, folks.  If your service delivers results nobody cares where you came from (if they do care, let them ask).  What I’m noticing more and more, is that the more time and physical space you need to explain to someone why you functionally exist, the less important you are.

….sorry, got off on a rant.  gee, how important am at, clocking in a 327 characters so far.

Consistency is the straw that breaks the camels back.  You can fake passion and authenticity for only so long…then you just get tired of it if your heart isn’t in the game.

Consistency is two fold:  1) Update regularly, and 2) measure your results to give people more of what they want.  If you make money from cats dancing to Katy Perry, post something new about that once a week.  If you make money from your adorable dog, post something new about that every day.  If you make money by writing a regular 3000 essay on being a single dad, do that.

If you do a posting, or a video, or an instagram, or a tweet, only once every so often, you’re not going to benefit a whole lot from social media marketing, because you won’t actually be doing social media marketing.

Facebook ads:  they don’t work because they aren’t authentic.  People who are on facebook are there to interact with their friends.  It’s just like watching TV….you DVR everything because you’re there to experience your shows, not watch commercials.

When your own “commercials” become the reason that people are there, the thing that people are interacting with – – THAT is when you will be effectively using social marketing.

Signed and untagged,
Scott

 

 

“Life is an onion and one peels it crying.” French Proverb

“Live est un oignon et un peeling en pleurant.” Proverbe français

“Life is an onion and one peels it crying.” French Proverb

This proverb jumped out at me again today. My onion is definitely peeling! When I am sad, I cry. When I am mad, I cry. When I am lonely, I sometimes cry. When I sense someone else’s dis-ease, I cry. When I am really happy about something, I cry. When I find something really funny, I laugh til I am crying. And sometimes…I don’t know why…but I just cry. It is a good thing that I am living by myself these days, because my onion is definitely peeling.

I used to be so stoic. Iiti did not want to waste time crying. I just did something to get over the sensation and moved away from it. I kept myself busy. I believed that it made me strong! It took a lot to get me to cry…and heaven forbid if someone happened to see me cry! I realize now that I was stuffing a lot inside of me. My onion was growing, and the outer peels got pretty tough.

It took a long time and a lot of self-study to feel OK with shedding a tear or two…or two thousand. I decided that if three-quarters of the world is water, and two-thirds of the human body is water, it is just fine to let go of a bit of mine. A total release occurs: physical, emotional, spiritual. It might not change a situation, but something about my perception of the situation changes. It just makes me feel different. Sometimes that different may only be exhausted and re-eyed, but that’s OK. It leads to a good sleep, and things always seem brighter after a good sleep.

Of course, I still prefer to do my crying alone (or as the old song says “in the rain”) so no one can see. Most of the time I choose an appropriate time and place for it. But I have stopped stuffing it down and keeping it deep and tight inside. Crying is a necessity: a natural part of our development in this life.

I am sure that this time of crying a lot will pass, as I move forward on my path. I also am sure that there will be more times of tears. I am OK with that, and accept it in others. And if the urge to cry is there and the tears just don’t come…I will just peel some onions.

© Linda Zeppa www.intuwriting.com
This blog is a version of a post from August 2011. Venus, retrograde and transiting in all of its glory, is working its magic on me. I am sure that I am not alone, as we are guided to use our emotions, creativity and intuition to release and gently move forward, setting up for a peaceful revolution.

My father, my son, and me

I really can’t complain.

I know I have no right to complain; but I am going to do my best to complain, anyway.

My problem? I have never been able to identify with nor wholeheartedly embrace the choices my thirty-five year old son makes.

His offense? He persistently refuses to live the life I would have him live, or make the choices I would have him make. He is smart and he is educated, but he has no significant other, no noteworthy means of supporting himself. He manages to get by with some subsidy, all while marching to the beat of a drummer only he can hear, God bless him.

I mean, I get it that I in my sixties am the child of the “Sixties.” Transforming our world was our ministry, our call, our manifest destiny. We had the Beatles, Civil Rights, Feminism, a Cold War, the Vietnam War, we walked on the moon.

He, on the other hand is a Gen X child of the “eighties.” They have heavy metal music (sigh), AIDS, gay rights, plus a few of their own wars and 9-11’s aftermath to cope with – but what he and his generation’s role will be, is not clear at all to me.

I will have to read the book when it comes out, I should live so long.

Reflecting on it, I don’t know how we got here. When I was thirty-five he was nine, we were living on a commune in Virginia, and I was reading the Lord of the Rings to him. It took a really long time but we loved sharing those books together, a peak father and son memory. Then life happened and he grew up.

To be honest, it occurs to me that, when compared with how my father must have felt when I was thirty-five, I get off pretty easily.

By the time I was my son’s age I had moved across the world to live on an Israeli kibbutz, drafted to serve in the Israeli army, married, changed our family name, had a son, returned to the U.S to live in yet another communal society, and then had a second child before going and getting divorced. None of this was in my father’s game plan for me.

So some compassion for my dad is overdue. I have some sense of how my father struggled to come to terms with my choices while loving me the best he could. Bless him, I did not make it easy. In my mind’s eye I have a sense of déjà vu, albeit with a role reversal.

So, when I take the opportunity to compare just how jerked around my dad must have felt when I was thirty-five, I get that I have no real right to complain.

But I will complain nonetheless and seek any sympathy I can solicit. It’s my story; I’m sticking to it, and I promise to go on loving my son as best I can, God help me.

See, I’m right

This is not a guide to social DIY-ing.  It’s a quick statement.

Late August 2011 I approached some target companies with a proposal to get them up and running with regularly published, internally generated, social content.  I’m going to call it “social content,” because quite frankly, all social content is marketing.

One part of my criteria for targeting a company was that they had to have a physical product: a box on a shelf, a unit in a showroom – – something that their end users could actually touch.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

Today, I read this article that reinforces my opinions and theories, which I came to after several months of intensive careful research.  Here’s an excerpt (parts of this quotes George Mason U economist Tyler Cowen),

…the Internet is a wonder when it comes to generating “cheap fun.” But because “so many of its products are free,” and because so much of a typical Web company’s work is “performed more or less automatically by the software and the servers,” the online world is rather less impressive when it comes to generating job growth.

It’s telling, in this regard, that the companies most often cited as digital-era successes, Apple and Amazon, both have business models that are firmly rooted in the production and delivery of nonvirtual goods. Apple’s core competency is building better and more beautiful appliances; Amazon’s is delivering everything from appliances to DVDs to diapers more swiftly and cheaply to your door.

By contrast, the more purely digital a company’s product, the fewer jobs it tends to create and the fewer dollars it can earn per user — a reality that journalists have become all too familiar with these last 10 years, and that Facebook’s investors collided with last week. There are exceptions to this rule, but not all that many: even pornography, long one of the Internet’s biggest moneymakers, has become steadily less profitable as amateur sites and videos have proliferated and the “professionals” have lost their monopoly on smut.

The internet is free, and the content is going to be more and more self-generated, and catching eyeballs will require being more and more ENGAGING and AUTHENTIC.  And SHORTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Get to the f-ing point in 10 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!   The more you need to tell me about your product or service, the less I need it!!!!!!!!!!!!  Don’t convince me, I’m already doing that myself!!!!!!!!!

As I sat behind the camera taping a 2 hour ppt presentation given by a 70-year-old retiree a couple weeks ago (to be archived for future use….hahahahaha), my one overwhelming thought was, “If I have to sit through something for 2 hours, it better be Avengers quality.”

AND, this comes back around to my current thoughts on the massive culture shift that we’re going to be experiencing in 5 years, stretching for the next 10-20 years as the boomers retire and transition to those pleasant sunny acres in the sky:

  • Creating online content is not intuitive to most boomers.
  • Creating online content is very intuitive to most gen-y-ers.
  • Gen x is the fulcrum around which these two massive generations will transition during this culture shift.  It’s the generation that will allow relevant knowledge and processes to pivot from the old school boomer way of doing things to the new wave of no-attention-span nu skool gen y way of doing things.
Simple example:  right now I have to explain, to clients of a certain age, how to download email attachments, how to properly extract files from zipped folders, those kinds of things.
Technology may or may not change to simplify this sort of task, but the people who will be doing the task will most certainly be changing.

What are you thoughts on the upcoming culture shift?

What are you doing right now to be engaging, authentic, and are you GETTING TO THE POINT!?!?!?

Some additional food for thought:  right now you can have media content online within a couple hours – – or in most cases a couple minutes – – of creating it.  You can have media content on broadcast channels and publications within about a day of creating it.  As long as you have the money to create and the money to pay for the schedule.  Rapid internal ideation is key key key.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

btw, just for fun, my favorite campaigns right now are on the radio, and the only product name I’m recalling is Cabot Stain:

http://washington.wgu.edu/billboard

Cabot Stain “How did this DIYer turn so pro?”

The hot dog commercial that talks about springtime being adequate grilling weather, and taking off your jacket to: put on a lighter jacket.

 

A funny thing happened on the way to the funeral. (Really)

Life is Precious. Life is Precarious. Life is Playful.

It’s never easy saying goodbye to someone.  Funerals are rarely funny.

This story and post is based on a true experience shared with me today during coffee social post my weekly spiritual experience at Unity of Bellevue. I dedicate this post to Trudy Wilson (who is not the one who had died…just to be clear. She is my source and a lovely soul!)

I find myself sitting at a table where I had sat down to collect an email address from someone I promised to send some information. That was what put me where I was with a small plate of deviled eggs and berries and a cup of coffee. I didn’t anticipate sitting there long, but the Universe had other plans for me.

I knew no one else at the table, but after a Rev.Nancy Worth “lesson” we are all friendly while we nibble on bite sized pieces of donuts and sweet loaf breads and mixed nuts. (That is what we are, aren’t we, mixed nuts going to “church” or “temple” or “yoga” or “the gym.” Pick your variety of spirituality, it’s all good!)

How Trudy and I got from saying hello to her sharing her recent funeral experience is not as important as the fact, our dialogue took us there.

The sad part of the story. The beautiful soul no longer with us in body, was the child and son of a woman, who had died of cancer not two months before her son chose to end his own physical existence. Yes, “suicide” happens whether we like it or not. What takes courage? Living or checking out? (Different and equally challenging blog post to “pen.”) He had apparently even told his mother that life was so much to manage. He was a sensitive soul that Trudy had known since childhood.  Since he’d moved to a province farther afield in Canada than British Columbia, Trudy no longer saw him at holidays.She knew his mother and sister and that kept her current on “D’s” life.

Trudy was in Canada attending D’s funeral this time, and determined to support the  family again.

Someone was responsible for bringing the items of personal significance to the church for the alter. Flowers and family photos of mom and children at various ages were in the bag that Trudy saw in the back seat of the driver’s new Jeep. The service was taking place at a church on Vancouver Island before the ceremony at the cemetery to honor D.  That driver was shall we say, a speed demon.

The Jeep was barreling along a road when it hit a speed bump. If you have ever been in a Jeep you know how rough a ride they can be; comparable to Hummers actually. The Jeep and it’s occupants arrived at the church to find something missing. The bag in the back seat. That Speed Bump! One of the back jeep doors had apparently flown open and the bag had escaped! The driver determined what must have been the moment it happened! They circled back to the spot and found the flowers by the side of the road but alas no bag with pictures. Okay, weird, but what can you say. What happened, happened.

D’s sister pulled the presenting minister aside and whispered in his ear, “We have a small problem.” This was shared at the end of the church service and prior to people heading to the final resting place.

Apparently, D’s ashes had been in a wooden box in that bag of pictures and flowers. Like I said, weird, but okay, as reported to this “Witness and Listener.”

At the grave site, people tossed roses into the hole that had been dug for the box of ashes. It was about the ritual of saying a proper and honorable goodbye at that point. But, D had a sense of humor in my opinion. Or someone did and in the end the message left might read like this: “I am not as gone as you think me. And can you find the humor in this moment.”

Trudy said D would be laughing if he was there to share the story himself. She prefers to remember that he was bright and sensitive and appreciated odd humor.

A couple of messages were received  by me as I listened to this story, earlier today.

1. Life is Precious. Never miss an opportunity to say to someone you care for that you do.

2. Life is Precarious. Sometimes we lose things in surprising ways and how we respond to that loss is what matters the most.

3. Life is Playful. Humor, even when it is black, is present and available if we remain open to finding the humor in any situation.

And what if, just what if, it is the Universe’s not so gentle way of saying, “Hey, you, dopey, sleepyhead, buried your head in the sand, looking for a scapegoat, choosing to be unaware and missing the precious opportunity before you, YEAH YOU, please, stop, regroup, see all that could be, if you would say yes to courage and love and adventure and risk and opening up and asking for even more support than you already do.

I’d give you as much as you asked for. And there may be times I attempt to wake you from your self-delusional pattern. Why? Because, I want you to be happy.

I Do.

Love.

Deborah Drake – Authentic Writing Provokes

P.S. Just in case it isn’t clear to you: Life is Precious. Life is Precarious. Life is Playful. Ask for help when you need it and be glad for the people who bug you because they care.

 

 

Good Luck-F*ceBo*k new Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

I find this kind of funny. F*ceBo*ok is asserting the rights to its trademarked words in there Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/facebook-asserts-trademark-on-word-book-in-new-user-agreement.ars. That means people of F*ceBo*k will me asked to not to used F*cebo*k’s Trademarked words. That means F*cebo*k uses will be asked to not use some of the following words: f*ce, bo*k, p*ke (that’s and O), w*ll (that’s an A), and l*ke (that’s an i).

 

Gotta say, Good luck!

Preventing homelessness, one task at a time

Homelessness is easier to prevent than to solve.

This truism came to mind when an acquaintance asked me to take her to a mandatory appointment at a state unemployment office on Tuesday February 28.

Clearing an afternoon’s calendar, I said “yes” because I imagine the hardships at the heart of her request to a mere acquaintance for this type of ride.

This woman, I will call her Sophia, has no blood relatives. She is over 60 and was laid off some time ago from the job that kept her independent. She has scraped by with the assistance of food banks and a couple part time jobs, one of which she is now losing. During that job, she experienced a fall and injuries causing chronic pain. Her car is unreliable. She does not live within easy walking distance of a bus line. It is hard for her to get to the doctor or pharmacy for proper pain management, but she wouldn’t have money for pain meds anyway.

I cannot “solve” all of Sophia’s problems. But I CAN take her to an appointment that might qualify her for unemployment benefits in a system that she, and I, have paid into for years. And I CAN listen, without flinching or patronizing, to her seemingly interminable rants about her woes. This behavior pushes many people away. I will not be among them. I will take her to the appointment.

And I will miss being at “Tuesdays with Deborah” on Feb. 28th.

Love in The Open

Last night I saw this couple last night at a coffee shop.  They were an older couple.  They were so beautiful.  What made them beautiful was that they were touching each other.  Not in a overly perverse way, but in a sensual, I appreciate you and how you make me feel when I’m with you way.

He sat down first on the bench, then she sat down next to him as they listened to the speaker, wrapping her arm into his arm as his hand was in his coat pocket.  She placed her cheek on his arm as to almost lay her head on his shoulder.  I saw her slight smile glimmer as she closed her eyes to listened to the speaker as well and enjoy the bliss of being with the one who made her feel safe and warm.  As if on cue as she readjusted her seat to snuggle closer he turned his head to give her a gentle kiss on her forehead letting her know he too enjoyed her closeness. This was so beautiful to watch.  People not afraid to touch one another in a way that say I care for you, I want you, I love you.  In public and for the world to see.  There was no shame or guilt for thinking thoughts of sensual emotion.  It was only love and the actions that display the heat of one’s passion for the other in an open and yet carefully intimate way.  It was one of the most beautiful and sensual things I’ve seen in a while.  I wanted to take a picture of them and tell them how beautiful they were.  But, I also wanted them to enjoy one another and not to disturb such a precious moment.  It made my heart smile.

I think and wish more people should be open to publicly showing their love.  Freely exploring the beauty of who you are and what you mean to the partner you are with. Naturally, there is a time and a place for everything and there will be some who will take it farther than others.  Being sensual and wanting to touch and be touched is natural and human.  It is love in pure form.  We’ve been taught that it is wrong and feeling like this are un-natural.  To me nothing is further from the truth.  You know how good it feels to get a hug from someone you love.  The thing is we get scared as our mind and body awaken and we realize that we are really enjoying this feeling and push it out of our heart and mind and allow the shame and guilt to take over yet again and again.

So when I saw this couple I couldn’t get them out of my had and had to have a conversation with you about it.  I for one enjoy the touch of another.  The sensuality of embracing, kissing and touching to wherever it leads me.  I’m not afraid.  Try kissing your partner in the middle of the mall.  You’ll see what I mean.  At that moment nothing else will matter.  Whether it’s 5 seconds, or 15 seconds everything will go silent and it will be just you two and love.  And if you are doing it right it will feel spectacular and you won’t give a damn who’s looking.  Try it!  I hope you will.  Until next time, be well.

You can visit with Gerald at – http://conversationswithgerry.com/

Meowy Catsmas

The damn cats have been here for exactly a year. Oh, joy! And tomorrow is also the 1st anniversary of the release of my first kidney stones. Thank God that’s over.

My little Grinch didn’t want to put up a tree this year. She was concerned for her cats. I was concerned for the glass ornaments.

We managed to get our 5 foot, fake, pre-lit tree out of the box today. I usually set it on top of a small skirted table. An accident waiting to happen, right? My brilliant idea was to screw the base of the tree to the cheap table. That was a small project. (Never the right tool when you need it.)

Later, as we worked in the other room, the meowing turned to crying. “Go check on the cats, please,” I said. Moments later, she screams from the living room, “Dad. You have to see this!” The tree looked like a blind man trimmed it with a chainsaw. One cat was on the skirted table, at the base of the tree looking up at his brother. Oh, brother. The other one was tangled in the wires, hanging upside down from his haunches.

It took the two of us, one at each end, to push him backwards past the wire to freedom. He wasn’t grateful. He was still trying to hang on.

The tree stands sturdy, all lit, gathering gifts in its entire naked splendor. (Ornaments would be too risky this year.) A full, plastic, quart-size squirt bottle stands nearby to defend the tree from would be feline climbers.

Damn Cats and Meowy Catsmas.

ciao, Pete

Efficiency Expert